AZUSA, Calif. -- It was supposed to be a showdown between a pair of top 25 teams, but instead it turned into a rout as the NAIA's No. 15-ranked Azusa Pacific buried No. 22-ranked Christian Heritage, 30-18, 30-24, 30-23, in Azusa.
The win is the Cougars sixth straight and their second straight over a ranked opponent. The Cougars go for their seventh straight win and third straight over a ranked opponent Thursday night when they travel to San Diego to face No. 3-ranked Point Loma Nazarene.
Azusa Pacific was in control from the opening serve, taking a 6-2 lead out of the gate. The Hawks climbed back in to tie it 6-6, before the Cougars reeled off the next 6 points to take command. The Cougars were on fire in the opening game, committing just 2 attack errors and hitting at a .407 clip. They finished the night at .217, but held the Hawks to just .008.
Sophomore All-GSAC MB Adrienne Pepe led the way with 12 kills and 6 blocks. She committed just 2 attack errors in 19 attempts. Sophomore Maria Abaca added 10 kills and 6 digs. Senior T.J. Gause had a match-high 14 digs, and junior All-American Christy Kimmel came alive in her best match of the year with 5 kills, and 10 digs. Emily Hethcock led the Hawks with 12 kills and 9 digs.
The Cougars are now 12-4 overall, 7-2 GSAC, and can take sole possession of third place in the GSAC pending the outcome of Biola's match at No. 2-ranked Fresno Pacific. Christian Heritage falls to 13-8, 5-5.